1933 - 2009

For almost 50 years Angela was a veritable cornerstone of village life, living with farming husband Roger in the beautiful old house known as Dial House Farm – the first big thatched house on the left coming into the village from Banbury.  She led the usual busy life of a farmer’s wife but gave without hesitation most of her spare time to a multitude of village institutions and events, not least the Women’s Institute, the Church and the School, as well as raising three boys - “a bunch of Cherrys” as she liked to call them.

Dial House Farm

Angela as most people in the village remember her - a hardworking
farmer's wife (with her pullets in the background!).

After a lifetime of endeavour, she and Roger were enjoying a well-earned foreign holiday when she unfortunately broke her hip – an accident from which she never really recovered and she died in January 2009.

A memorial service was held in Sulgrave Church on 2nd February 2009 and those of us fortunate enough to be there can testify to the fact that the church was full to overflowing – a memorable service ending, appropriately, with a rousing rendition of “Jerusalem”.

A moving tribute prepared by Roger and sons Ian, Simon and Peter was given and this is reproduced here, as follows:

Angela was born on the 13th March, 1933 in Melbourne, Derbyshire, the only child of Audrey and Roland Adcock.  Audrey was a housewife and Roland a miller at the Old Mill next to Melbourne Pool in Melbourne.  Audrey’s family came from Southwell in Nottinghamshire and she was married in Southwell Minster, which explains Angela’s love of Southwell.  Roland was unfortunately the last miller in Melbourne after following in the family footsteps.

After her early years that were spent in the family home called Wadenhoe in Melbourne of course came the advent of the 2nd World War.  Angela was initially sent to Ashby Girls School but this was not quite the successful start to her school life that was expected. After a short while her mother and father were called in to see the head mistress and after a short discussion, her father asked the head-mistress if she knew who Angela Adcock actually was?  After a short pause, she answered ‘no not really’.  Right said her father in a raised voice, I am moving Angela to Derby High School immediately!

Schoolgirl Angela

It was at Derby High School that she was alongside a fellow pupil that she would not get to know properly for another 60 years.  This fellow pupil was to move into Sulgrave, it was after a few years that they found out they went to school together and actually realised they were on the same school photograph sitting behind one another.  This lady was Pauline Flinn.

At School Angela was keen on sport being a good hockey player and also a season ticket holder of Derby County Football Club with her father.  Apparently she used to travel to the matches in the back of her fathers Austin pickup, standing up & waving the Derby County flag to rile the opposing fans ..!

Angela in sports mode.

It was this sort of behaviour that must have occurred at school too, resulting at one point from being banned from a school outing!

Angela’s upbringing was during the second world war and the years of rationing that followed & this obviously had an affect on her.  Her father was a member of the local pig club to provide extra meat for the family and they also kept some chickens.  This led Angela to her first seasonal job working for a chicken breeder based near Ashbourne, & was where she found her vocation in life, judging by her reference that was written by Mr Kent

Mr Kent wrote ‘Miss Adcock has been helping on my poultry breeding farm for the last 6 months. She is a splendid worker, always bright and cheerful and happy in her work. She has done every job on this farm. She is quick and thorough, very trustworthy & most reliable. I have had a busy season hatching and rearing and do a good trade in day old chicks.  Miss Adcock has born a good deal of the responsibility and I shall be very sorry to lose her.

The danger not recorded - but a charming photograph.

After the season working for Mr Kent, Angela took no time at all to setup working for herself, renting a field from Mr Harold Pipes selling eggs and chickens. She had some high profile clients, Lord Carr who lived at Melbourne Hall, although she used to say that her chickens were the cleanest things that used to be in their kitchens ..!

But Angela wanted progress in her career and when she saw a job advertised in the press by Spillers Research, she applied and managed the first chicken broiler house in the UK based at Middle Aston in Oxfordshire.  It was at Spillers where she met Rosemary Bartlett who was working in the neighbouring calf unit & she was to become a lifelong friend.  Rosemary was a member of Brackley Young Farmers & it was this friendship that opened up a new social life for Angela.

Roger was also a member of Brackley Young Farmers and a good friend of Rosemary’s too.  One day Roger received a phone call from Rosemary, would he like to accompany her at a pony club dance being held at Hopcrofts Holt – of course he replied. Nearer the time, Roger received a call from a friend called John Stokes who asked him if he was going to the pony club dance?  He needed a lift as he was meeting up with Rosemary Bartlett!  They decided to go together and ‘check out’ what was going on.  When they got to the dance, Rosemary had already gone off with another man but Roger happened to see Angela and they danced the night away …

But this was not the start of their romance, the night ended and they did not see each other again for some months.  One Sunday afternoon after Roger has a disagreement with his dad, he went off for a drive in the farm pickup.  He happened to drive through Middle Aston and went past Angela’s cottage, when he saw her using her sewing machine at the window.  They both saw each other, he went in for a cup of tea and the rest is history ..!

Taken by Roger on their first real 'date'.

Roger & Angela got engaged 2 years later on a weekend away to Wales whilst it was Rogers 31st birthday.  Angela could not wait to wear her engagement ring, but also knew that it was not the done thing to get engaged before Roger asked permission from her father.  So on the way back they called in, but Angela’s mother could already see the mark on Angela’s finger ..!  Roger was also introduced to Angela’s infamous aunt Margaret, the first thing she said to Roger was ‘you look quite old, have you been married before..!’

Melbourne Pool, Derbyshire

They were married at Melbourne church in September 1961, Rogers father built the bungalow next door so that Angela and Roger could move straight into Dial House Farm.  It must be mentioned that Roger’s father always referred to Angela as ‘that mad woman from Derbyshire’.

By January 1963 during the one of the worst winters on record, Ian Bernard was born, Simon Roland followed in Dec 1964 and finally Peter Roger arrived in September 1971 to create ‘a bunch of Cherry’s’ as they were known.

High kicking in Banbury High Street - Farmers' Ball
at the Winter Gardens.

Throughout Angela’s married life she was keen to support all the organisations in the village and this included:

Womans Institute – a member for all her married life
Parochial Church Council
Friends of Sulgrave School
Governor of Sulgrave School
Garden Society
Historical Society
Sulgrave branch of the Conservatives
A benefactor of the new village shop
A keen church-goer
Altar Guild – cleaning the church, first with Roger’s mother and then with her
daughter-in-law – Margaret.
The Village show – in which she actively encouraged her children to partake in, and though highly successful, she could never better Roger mum’s lemon curd.

Women's Institute Fancy Dress. Back row l to r Angela, Kathleen Munro,
Doreen Wootton. Front row l to r Edie Golby, Patricia Golby, Margaret
Wootton, ?

She was a mainstay of the many fetes, jumble sales, cake stalls and fund-raising activities in the village.  Angela was a keen supporter of the Manor especially when Martin Sirot-Smith joined who transformed it.  She even became Mrs Washington in one of the manor plays, alongside Chris Beck who played George Washington and who has always referred to Angela since as his ‘second wife’!

Angela and Roger with her bunch of Cherrys - l to r Simon, Peter, and Ian.
Silver Wedding Anniversary 1986

Angela of course helped on the farm, she continued with her love of poultry until only a few years ago, she did Bed & Breakfast for years meeting lots of interesting people, she was a fantastic cook & she supported Roger’s love of shooting.

Later in life Angela wanted to travel, this was difficult when Roger was not the most confident of fliers, but when she booked a trip to Cyprus without his prior knowledge, he was hooked & this led to many happy trips.

Going back to Angela’s early years, the vicar of Melbourne Church passed her a letter from a young girl who lived in Melbourne Australia and who wanted a pen-friend.  She wrote to Helen for over 50 years before she eventually booked flights to Australia, New Zealand & Hong Kong (again without Roger’s prior knowledge) to finally meet Helen her pen-friend.  Peter asked his dad when he got back, have you conquered your fear of flying dad – he responded ‘with 13 flights, I bloody well had to ..!’  They visited Australia again a few years later and her pen-friend came to the UK. 

In Melbourne, Australia with Angela's pen friend for 50 years.

Throughout Angela’s life, she was a doer, not just a talker.  She was a loving wife, a mother to her three sons – Ian, Simon & Peter, a grand-mother to Hannah, Charlotte, Joshua and Laura.

September 2001 - 40th Wedding Anniversary celebrations.

Angela has had a difficult final 2 years after breaking her hip & ending her days in a nursing home.  We must thank our friends for the incredible support they gave her, the support from her family, the medical & nursing care she received but the biggest of all tributes must go to Roger for his support.  He has visited Angela nearly everyday for over 2 years, firstly at the Horton Hospital then Chacombe Park and finally at Culworth House.  This shows the love, support & dedication they had for each other.